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Tazzu’s WordCamp 2008 Vancouver – A total success May 1, 2008

Posted by Raul in blogosphere, Downtown, Gastown, social networking, tazzu, tazzuwordpresscamp, Vancouver, WordCamp, wordpress.
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First of all, kudos to the Tazzu creators, Rastin, Jenny and Ash (and Teresa) for a phenomenal first WordCamp Vancouver.

Secondly, a big shout out and standing ovation to Rebecca (aka Miss604) for live-blogging (I would’ve live-blogged your segment, just so that you know, hehehe). I’ve inserted my notes on her talk here, she’ll update her liveblog with this quick summary of Rebecca’s presentation. I wouldn’t want to go into a full recap of the evening, and instead would just like to point out my overall assessment of the WordCamp.

Summary of Rebecca’s presentation: INSERTING PHOTOS INTO WORDPRESS.

WordCamp 2008 Vancouver
Rebecca’s presentation (Photo credit: Raul on Flickr)
Two main elements of Rebecca’s presentation.

First, the insertion of photos into WordPress, when it is self-hosted (e.g. WordPress.org). There is a very neat plug-in from TanTan Noodles (linked here) that allows you to insert photos into your WordPress post. The advantage of using PhotoAlbum is that you can use it in a synchronous mode with WP-AddQuickTags (also linked here). If you use them both simultaneously, you can quickly select from your Flickr account any photo you want to insert and using the QuickTags, you can easily insert the caption AND link back to Flickr.

However, for those of us who aren’t hosting our own blogs, Rebecca did also a demo of how to insert photos into Flickr. You can see a teaser of the screencast here on her Blip.tv stream and also the full screencast that she did as a response of one of my requests on how to insert the photos.

Rebecca also showed the Flickr RSS feed that showcases a certain number of your recent photos on the sidebar (or as a widget). I am not 100% sure if this is just WordPress.org or my WordPress.com version can also do it, haven’t tried it yet.

Flux
Photo credit: Retrocactus on Flickr.

[As you can see, I inserted the photo location using the IMG button, and then I linked back to John Biehler’s photograph, using exactly the method described by Rebecca]

Finally, Rebecca pointed out to the concept of Creative Commons and indicated several suggestions on how to credit (and/or ask the photographers). This is a pretty important pet-peeve of mine, as I am the son of two lawyers (one of them who actually has a very strong understanding of intellectual property law), so I seriously dislike when people don’t link back to a certain Flickr photo, and don’t provide attribution.

Rebecca’s photos (like mine) are licensed under Creative Commons as Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share Alike (which means, if you want to use one of my Flickr photos, you should link back to me, DON’T download the photo AND DON’T insert it in your server, instead copy the photo location AND link back to it using the codes for link). In the screencasts (and while she did her presentation) Rebecca showed how to find the photo location AND how to link back using the Link button on WordPress.

This part of the WordCamp was very lively because everyone wanted to ask questions related to copyright AND photo attribution. Kudos to Rebecca for opening up the discussion, and to everyone who presented. All of you guys did a WONDERFUL job.

WHY WAS IT A SUCCESS?

WordCamp 2008 Vancouver
Some of the crowd at The Network Hub. (Photo credit: Raul on Flickr)

I attribute it to several factors:

a). Social media interconnectedness – Even though I’m not on Facebook, I *am* on Twitter (@hummingbird604). Therefore, I knew about WordPress Camp Vancouver almost the day that it was conceived as an idea. Facebook helped spread the word, and many other bloggers took it upon themselves to invite more people and/or just disseminate information related to WordCamp 2008.

b). Superb organization skills – I got to The Network Hub (on which I’m writing a featurette, upcoming later tomorrow) very early, close to 4.30pm. Rastin, Jenny, Ash, Teresa and the folks at The Network Hub were already setting up, and fixing things, organizing the audiovisual and getting the coffee and donuts. They were SO synchronized it was almost unbelievable. If I were to hire these folks to organize an event for me, I’d do it in a second. They were right on the money, seriously.

c). Excellent location – Again, I’ll be writing about The Network Hub later, but even though the space was reduced for >80 people who actually ended up showing up, it *is* an amazing concept. People work at The Network Hub because it provides a one-stop-shop for everything they need. I took a few photographs of the offices and open spaces and I was positively impressed. Besides, it’s so close to so many transit routes AND Skytrain.

d). Outstanding list of speakers – Everyone who spoke knew their topic inside-out. It was clear that they were very prepared. Nobody could find any gaps in the presenters’ slide shows. The most important thing – they kept a really strict time-keeping register. And the presenters didn’t go over their time limit. That was, simply outstanding. I’ve been to so many academic conferences and *this* kind of excellent time-keeping, free-flowing conference doesn’t happen often.

e). Phenomenal bunch of attendees – Everyone who went there was hungry for knowledge. The questions were very good (even though a couple were slightly offensive, in my own personal view) and I would say that the interactions between presenters and listeners were very pleasant.

f). Great outline of presenters’ design – The break in the middle of the presentations was excellent. Gave an opportunity for people to socialize, get to know each other and exchange ideas and tips, seek clarification, etc.

g). Outstanding choice of bar for afterwards drinks - Flux is *the* bar where we should all go and get a drink. Spacious, nice staff, great drinks. I think this was excellent. And thanks to Automattic for sponsoring the one round of drinks afterwards! UPDATE – Andy (who works for Automattic) was there too, socializing and handing out WordPress stickers.

h). Unparalleled list of sponsors, both financial, location, food and media sponsors. I don’t have the whole list with me, but I could recognize Phillip Jeffrey, Lisa Bettany and of course, Rebecca Bollwitt. I was also a media sponsor (last minute kinda thing, but hey here is my analysis of the evening!). Some outstanding photographers, including Amanda Abrams and Ianiv (from Ianiv and Arieanna). And of course, it was great to see Stephen Rees, John Biehler, Erika Rathje, and a lot whom I probably will miss!

WHAT WOULD I DO DIFFERENT NEXT TIME

As I told Rastin, this is an excellent precursor to what can be the next series of Vancouver WordCamp’s. These are my suggestions for the next WordCamp (or series thereof).

1). Divide in tiers – There are the recreational bloggers, the self-hosted WordPress.org and the non-self-hosted WordPress.com kind of users. It was hard for some of us who are not coders to keep our eyes on some of the presentations. For the people who code, it was kind of difficult to remain focused when talks were discussing basics.

2). Charge, even if it is a nominal amount - Hello? This was a three-hour, totally free event where people got coffee, donuts, even a free drink AND lots of good insights from fellow bloggers and developers. Even if there was a minimal cover charge (say $ 3.00) it would help offset some of the costs. I am just saying (if you’ve got anything to say against this, that’s where the comments section comes).

3). Make it a series of events – Maybe one monthly. It would be great. The format is excellent as it leaves time for socialization.

Big shout-outs to everyone who was there, I could attempt and wave hi to everyone whom I saw, but honestly, it’s late, I’m past my degree of consciousness here and I’d like to get some sleep, maybe grab a sandwich. I can comment tomorrow on how nice it was to see everyone, and to meet some of the folks I had just met through their blogs (like Lisa, or Phillip Jeffrey, or Ianiv and Arieanna). But that’ll come tomorrow. For now, I leave you with this. And of course, lots of pretty pictures. Just ’cause.

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Comments»

1. Mostly Lisa - May 1, 2008

yeah! so great to meet you! now, i’m gonna explore your blog… wiii! hi-5!

2. Andy P - May 1, 2008

Thanks for the recap Raul! It was a fun event and great meeting you and everyone there…

3. Liesa Billings - May 1, 2008

I’m glad this event was such an amazing success. Virtually knowing people from the Tazzu community, and Jeannette personally, it had to of been successful. I do have to say I am disappointed in the Network Hub. Why? For such a forward thinking business they do not cater to people with disabilities. I suppose it’s not the Network Hub personally. I also understand the building is a historic building but still…When I called and asked if the stairs at least had hand rails I could hold on to I was told no. The girl felt bad of course, I felt worse realizing I could not go.

This is just how the cookie crumbles but I’m still sad :( although not mad!

4. Everything changes, in the blink of a Word « Me Like The Interweb: - May 1, 2008

[...] Coverage of the WordCamp event is up already on Rebecca’s Miss604 and Raul’s Hummingbird604 [...]

5. monicahamburg - May 1, 2008

Thanks for this, Raul – I was hoping for a recap of Rebecca’s presentation as I took really lousy notes. And thank you so much for your support. It’s always great to see you – you have such amazing energy & your positivity is positively contagious.

Please do let me know when you are defending your thesis, I would really enjoy seeing that.

6. Gus - May 1, 2008

Hey Raul sounds like it was a great success. I was hoping to attend, but wor got busier than I had hoped and couldn’t get away. I did manage to watch it via live streaming and that made me feel as if I was there and apart of the event.

I am with you on your suggestion of teiring the event and even charging a small fee.

I hope I will be able to attend the next one..scratch that…I WILL make it to the next event :)

7. Jeremy Latham - May 1, 2008

Thanks for writing about Rebecca’s bit last night. Your recap makes me regret that I wasn’t able to make it.

8. TylerIngram - May 1, 2008

Raul thanks for posting this! I too wish I could have made it like I was previously planned. Hopefully another one will be around the corner I can attend.

9. Duane Storey - May 1, 2008

Great hanging out again last night! In terms of the cost, I sort of like that the odd company picks up the tab. It let’s those companies (specifically those that use WordPress) give a little back to the community, and makes it more accessible for everyone.

10. Blaze New Media » » Tazzu WordCamp Vancouver a Success! - May 1, 2008

[...] wrap-ups from: Duane Storey, Hummingbird 604, Miss [...]

11. Raul - May 1, 2008

@ Lisa – Great to meet you too!

@ Andy – Awesome to meet you as well!

@ Liesa – I sent you an email, I really hope you can come next time.

@ Monica – Details on the you know what will be sent via email :) or maybe I should Twitter it ;) hehehe. Great presentation!

@ Gus – For sure, you SHOULD be there next time.

@ Jeremy – Most definitely, would have been awesome to have you there too.

@ Tyler – Next time you *have* to make it!

@ Duane – Yeah to drinks and friends! I agree with companies covering the cost. Maybe we could all try to pitch corporate support in this direction? For example, Nancy Zimmerman managed to have Citizens Bank of Canada offer a small sponsorship. I am not associated right now with any company, but maybe when I am, I can try to get them to sponsor.

Overall, the energy in the room was outstanding. Go check all the Flickr photos!

12. Thursday link love - Post Tazzu WordCamp :) « Random Thoughts of a Student of the Environment - May 1, 2008

[...] social networking, tazzu, tazzuwordpresscamp — Raul @ 10:30 am Still relishing the positive energy of the first-ever WordCamp Vancouver (WordPress Camp for the uninitiated), here’s some link love… just ’cause I felt like [...]

13. WordCamp Vancouver 2008 Live Blog » Vancouver Blog Miss604 - May 1, 2008

[...] Update: I’m up next folks! (Raul has some notes on my talk here) [...]

14. Tanya (aka NetChick) - May 1, 2008

Hey Raul,

Thanks for this… I was sad I couldn’t be there, but I had another event to attend. Sounds like you had a great time!

15. Raul - May 1, 2008

Hey Tanya!

Yes we did miss you – and actually Monica showcased your blog as one of the best models for engaging in conversation. It’s true, you *do* have a great blog! It would’ve been great to have you there but I understand when two commitments clash. Hopefully next time! Hugs!!!

16. Jen - May 1, 2008

Hi Raul, thanks again for you help, and for this amazing coverage! It was great meeting you, and hope to see you around. Cheers! Jen :)

17. Daniel - May 1, 2008

Great recap of a great event. I learned a lot, met interesting people, and got loads of inspiration. I’d like to extend a big thanks to the sponsors/organizers as well.

Also, Raul, when you said, “Make it a series of events – Maybe one monthly” I couldn’t help but think WordPress meetup? Here’s the link to entice those considering it:

http://wordpress.meetup.com/cities/ca/bc/vancouver

Cheers!

18. Raul - May 1, 2008

Hey Daniel, glad you had a good time. I’ll try to entice people to consider this :)

19. Anonymous - May 1, 2008

Just stumbled across this event and couldn’t help but think ‘Why the heck is this called a WordPress meetup?’. Most of the talks seemed to be on general blogging, with a couple WP-specific bits tossed in for flavour. Blogging and WordPress are not synonymous, despite appearances to most.

Perhaps the event should be given a more generic name – this would also open up the floor to speakers that might have interesting ways of using some of the more flexible software out there.

20. Raul - May 1, 2008

Hi Anonymous,

Hmmm… this was a first attempt, so hence it was kind of hard to know what people were expecting. The good thing is that people are offering feedback (like what you’re mentioning above). I’ll make sure to pass your comments to the organizers. Thanks for dropping by!

On the more flexible software, I find that being WordPress.com limits some of the things I want to do, but not many of them =)

21. crunchycarpets - May 1, 2008

“even though a couple were slightly offensive, in my own personal view)”
REALLY??
I must have missed that..we bowed out at the break because as much as John Chow is a nice guy (so I am told) I wasn’t really into that topic…

I do like your suggestions though…
They should do newbie wp camps, coder camps and general blog talk camps….

And we all needed a place to stick our biz cards or something so we could plug our blogs!!!

22. Raul - May 1, 2008

John Chow *is* a really nice guy. And he provided some very informative guidelines even for those of us who do not monetize our blogs.

One thing I forgot to add is that perhaps it would be worth to open a call for volunteers. Setting up the room, getting the coffee and donuts, and doing the seating arrangements is time consuming and all of this work was done entirely voluntarily by Rastin, Jenny, Ash, Teresa and the awesome folks of The Network Hub. I came early to help, and I am sure that they could have used more help than whatever little I did.

23. Bruce Byfield - May 1, 2008

Hi, Raul:

I hope you don’t mind a small correction, but licenses are one of my beats, and I think that understanding them is important.

You say that your use of a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike license means:

“You should link back to me, DON’T download the photo AND DON’T insert it in your server, instead copy the photo location AND link back to it using the codes for link”

However, the terms of this license (see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.5/) say none of these things. All the license says is that, if you are going to use it, you must:

* give credit to the owner
* use it only for non-commercial purposes
* release any derivatives under the same license

Otherwise, users are free to download, distribute, and alter the work released under this license in any way that they see fit. Linking to the original is simply the most convenient way to use it online.

24. Raul - May 1, 2008

Hi Bruce!

Thanks for pointing this out. While I think you’re generally right on the mark, I would still like to consult my parents on this one :) The guidelines I proposed were somewhat the result of my being annoyed at the fact that people don’t link back, not an absolute interpretation of the CC license.

BUT I *do* promise that I’ll ask them (not that I don’t trust your expertise, but naturally, as any child of lawyer parents, I want to talk to my lawyers – erm, I wanted to mean, parents, hehehe).

One thing though – how would I know that they gave me credit without providing linkage to the original source? I wouldn’t be scouring the depths of the internet to find who hasn’t given me credit AND used my photos. What do you suggest in that case?

By the way, I absolutely loved your presentation. Your style is absolutely lively and you were right on the money! (although you did not talk about monetizing, hehehe!)

25. Bruce Byfield - May 2, 2008

Hi, Raul:

You’re right, of course: You can’t know for sure that everybody who uses your photo gives you credit. But, then, the same is true of conventional copyright, too.

However, you might try posting a request to hear when someone uses your photos. Or possibly a Google Alert?

But I do have to say that, in my experience, people are pretty good about honoring Creative Commons licenses. The fact that you haven’t set firm restrictions on the use of your work usually makes people more willing to abide by the restrictions you have placed on it.

Of course, as you might expect, the CC license most honored is Attribution — the simplest one.

As for monetizing the blog, a funny thing happened yesterday. I finally got around to installing Adblocker. I went to http://www.johnchow.com — and nothing was there! ;-)

26. THANK YOU Tazzu Wordcamp participants and sponsors at Tazzu Blog - May 2, 2008

[...] Pacheco (hummingbird604) thank you for the posts here , here and the great pictures: [...]

27. John A - May 10, 2008

It might be an idea to get someone at a college or university to “donate” their lab for a monthly meeting?

28. Managing your favorite photos on Flickr « Random Thoughts of a Student of the Environment - September 18, 2008

[...] I’m grateful to both John and Derek for providing these hints, as I am still not self-hosted and therefore, can’t use Flickr plugins yet that are available for WP.org. For example, Rebecca uses a really easy-to-use plugin that she uses when she writes her blog posts, and that allows her to quickly search photos and credit people for use of Creative-Commons-licensed photos. She presented about that topic on WordCamp Vancouver 2008 and you can read my notes of her talk here. [...]

29. Upcoming event - Movie premiere, “The Widow Colony” « Random Thoughts of a Student of the Environment - September 24, 2008

[...] My friend Kulpreet (who is a WordPress wizard and has presented at both previous WordCamps, Vancouver and Fraser Valley) asked me whether I could highlight an upcoming event, the movie premiere of the [...]


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